A roller-coaster season came to a screeching halt for the Fort Osage girls basketball team Monday night.
Turnovers and poor shooting put the Indians in a hole early as they trailed by double digits for the majority of a 54-34 loss to Liberty North in the first round of the Class 5 District 14 Tournament at North Kansas City High School.
“We didn’t play our best basketball,” said Fort Osage coach Lindsay Thompson, whose team ended its season at 11-14. “We were playing pretty well leading up to this, so us not playing our best basketball was frustrating.
“I could sense the frustration really early on. But these kids don’t have quit in them and they play hard. We battled in the second quarter. Then we came back in the third quarter and had trouble defending anybody.”
The Eagles raced out to a 6-0 lead but the Indians pulled within 8-4 on a pull-up jump shot by senior Alecia Monday in the first quarter.
Liberty North ended the quarter on a 8-0 spurt, spearheaded by 3-pointers from Jayme Jackson and Emme Perry, making it 16-4 going into the second period.
Fort Osage guard Katelyn Ward hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the second frame to cut Liberty North’s lead to 20-12. That’s as close as the Indians got as the Eagles ended the quarter on another 8-0 run to go into the locker room ahead 30-14.
The Eagles then put it out of reach in the third after shooting 9 of 15 from the floor in the third quarter. They went into the fourth up 50-18 and put in their reserves for the rest of the game.
Fort Osage shot just 7 of 24 (29 percent) from the floor and had 17 turnovers through the first three quarters.
“We let little things get to us and couldn’t get over the hump,” Thompson said.
Monday led the Indians with eight points and Ward finished with six.
Liberty North junior Gabrielle Burns led all scorers with 15 points and Rachel Spainhour added 12.
The Indians will lose six seniors to graduation.
“We had six seniors contribute a fabulous four years to this program,” Thompson said. “They were sophomores when I took over, so it was fun to see them grow. It’s bittersweet because they are a fantastic group.”